Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; especially when it’s between two of the biggest names in high fashion. On June 6th Balenciaga unveiled its ready-to-wear spring 2022 collection “Balenciaga Clones”, designed and curated by Demma Gvasalia. However, while the collection video appears to show a runway featuring a plethora of different models amongst a diverse crowd draped in all black, the only genuine component of this video is the clothing.
Using state-of-the-art digital technology director Quentin Deronzier was able to digitally graft model Eliza Douglas’s face onto 44 men and women in order to portray the illusion that Douglas was modelling every look. All this technological mischief was done in order to convey how much the line between real and fake has been blurred in today’s digital age. To read more about the two fashion house’s collaborations, check out this HOLR article.
“Technology creates alternate realities and identities, a world of digital clones” according to the press notes, and no better is this exemplified than with the Balcengia branded Gucci canvas featured in the collection. Gvasalia chose the iconic double G monogram as his muse for what has been dubbed “The Hacking Project ”, replacing G’s with B’s on accessories such as bags, caps, and belts. “My approach was very minimal, I didn’t change much” confessed Gvasalia in an interview, one of the reasons that the accessories command so much attention. The magnum opus of the collection is without a doubt the double B branded tote bags with the phrase “This is not a Gucci bag” spray-painted across. A nod to the 1929 surrealist painting by René Magritte titled The Treachery of Images.
Gucci and Balenciaga have both been found guilty in the court of social media over copying other designers’ work, another reason to highlight the distinction between genuine and counterfeit. When the general public has access to an exhaustive amount of information, it comes as no surprise that originality has become something that is constantly brought into question. This commentary on how we make the distinction between what is real and what is not is executed thoroughly by the Spanish fashion house through the reinterpreted Gucci canvas. The same simplistic commentary was communicated through Gucci’s 2017 collaboration with artist Coco Capitán, where phrases such as “common sense is not that common” were scribbled onto ready-to-wear Gucci clothing. Expect the Balenciaga spring 2022 to arrive in stores come November, with the hand-tagged tote bags being kept to limited release.